Coddenham: Lager brewer Calvors invests to increase capacity

Alec Williams of brewer Calvors.

Alec Williams of brewer Calvors. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based brewer Calvors is nearing completion of new brewing and storage capacity required to help meet growing demand for its range of craft lagers.

Calvors Brewery, which is based at Coddenham, near Needham Market, was founded in 2008 with only six barrels, which meant that brewing had to take place every day.

The new brewery, work on which has been in progress for around a year, involves a 40-barrel plant which enables Calvors to brew more than 11,000 pints at a time. This has resulted in considerable cost and energy savings, which has helped keep beer prices competitive as well as increasing production capacity.

In the second phase of the company’s current expansion, a new cold store is nearly complete and replaces two small ones. This will provide more storage and easier access.

The final part of this phase will be the installation of a new carbonator. This will increase the packaging speed into kegs and bottles while continuing to ensure the correct level of CO2 in the beer before it leaves the brewery.

Alec Williamson, owner of the brewery, said: “It has been a rather time consuming process as the new brewery has had to sit where the old one was without stopping production.

“However the brew house is now complete and we have moved to the second phase this winter. This is to increase the size of the packaging and cold storage facilities, enabling us to achieve our full capacity.”

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In line with the company’s policy of, wherever possible, sourcing locally and from the UK, the whole brewery was custom built in England at Burton-on-Trent.

However, Mr Williamson was unable to find a competitive solution in the UK for the new carbonator, which has been sourced from Denwell in the Czech Republic.

“In fact our current carbonator which we will keep for small runs is also Czech built, so that is obviously the place to find them,” he added.

The new carbonator is designed to run at 5,000 litres per hour and will work with a new bright beer tank that is also currently being built. The system works via the efficient Venturi method and will therefore result in less CO2 use throughout the system.